Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chained to Christ

I recently went to a women’s Christian conference. This was my third year going and I am always impressed with the worship, speakers, and the feeling I leave with. The entire weekend is focused on empowering women and encouraging them to step-up and out in their faith and walk with God. I never leave the conference feeling anything less than filled and bubbling over with motivation to improve my relationship with Christ. This year things were so much different for me. Instead of leaving with a spiritual high that would fade and a devotion book that I would stop writing in two weeks after, I walked out the doors of that conference center broken, convicted, and ready to make a radical change in my life and spiritual relationship.
At the conference, I felt as though every speaker and song was directed right at me. It wasn’t the music. Because it isn’t music that moves you as a Christian, it is the worship you put behind it. It wasn’t the spiritual pep-talks, anyone can listen and be convicted. It was God. I walked in those doors knowing something was wrong, ignoring the fact that I wasn’t where I needed to be in my walk with Christ.  This isn’t to say that I don’t pray, consult Jesus in every decision, or try to live faithfully to him daily. But it does mean that I knew in my heart that I had been putting things before God. I have been struggling silently with the idols of my life and I have let myself worship thoughts, desires, fears, and insecurities. ANYTHING you think about, want, love, and give your time to more than God is an IDOL. And I was quickly learning that I had quite a few.
When you realize that you are not where you should be, that you are confined to the world and it’s sin, and that God is BEGGING you to come back to him, you can do one of two things. You can choose to be the same person; put on the Christian smile and continue to talk about the marvelous God and His eternal love that you aren’t even acknowledging daily. OR you can change. Anyone who has grown up in church and read the bible can pretend to know what Holy is and recite the stories we have all heard. But it takes true brokenness to feel the longing God has for His children. It takes ultimate submission to decide that you want to run to Jesus instead of the things that keep you from him.
Romans 6:18 says “Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness.”
and Romans 6:22 tells us “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”
Whether I had realized it or not, I had become a slave to my own sin. I was serving the world and had chained myself to the cuffs of all the things my God could set me free from. For the first time I can honestly say I experienced God breaking my heart for all the things that had been breaking His.
After the conference I wrote this:
I don’t want to be bound to anyone or anything but you, Lord. I don’t want to be chained to the world, to selfishness, to a need, want, man, or idol. I don’t want to be chained to the person I pretend to be, but rather to the woman you created me to become. I don’t want to be chained to my guilt, shame, doubts, or my self-worth issues. I don’t want to be chained to a loss of innocence, or desperation to get it back. I don’t want to be chained to my strife, to the battles I have had to fight, my pain, or the resentment in my heart. I don’t want to be chained to my mistakes or the mistakes others have committed against me. Amen.
And with that, God broke my chains. I now know that a servant is someone who is bound by obligation and against their will. A bondservant is someone who was once a slave, but was set free and chose to stay because of their love and dedication to their master.
I might have been a slave to sin, but now I am a bondservant to Jesus Christ. I am not with Him against my will, but because I am hungry for His word, for His approval, and for the love that ONLY He can fill all my voids with. I am no longer a slave to sin or a religion, but a bondservant to God’s love.
“He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.”
Psalm 107:14
-Madalyn Payge <3

No comments:

Post a Comment